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2000 Le Mans 24 Hours

24 heures du Mans

Saturday, June 17, 2000
Fastest Lap:
McNish, 3m37.359
2000 season:

The 2000 Le Mans 24 hours turned out as everyone predicted. The Audis were too quick and too reliable, and the Joest team too competent for the competition. Andrew Frankel reports

At 4.00pm, on Sunday, June 18, three Audi R8 sports prototypes crossed the line at Le Mans to win the famous 24-hour race at Audi Sport's second attempt The slowest of the three, despite having to stop for an entire new rear end, and as a result finishing three laps behind the winner, was 176 miles ahead of the next quickest car.

That's the distance from London to Manchester, and Reinhold Joest's team put that between themselves and the opposition in just a day and a night's racing. Put another way, the leader dropped its fastest finishing rival at an average of a lap an hour, every hour for 24 hours. And that's an 8.4-mile lap. Now consider that for rather more than half the race the Audis were cruising, circulating nowhere near their potential pace and try to imagine what the margin might have been had they actually been trying.